Traditional Media Finally Moves into the 21st Century

The recent announcements of both Fairfax and News Limited about job cuts in their respective newspapers has crystallised the reality of offline/online media.

The offline media in the way of newspapers has been struggling for a long while and Fairfax in particular has been slow to react to the certainty of the Internet.  Although I don’t believe newspapers are finished, they will definitely change in many facets, in terms of delivery, format and structure.

More and more people now receive their news online and will probably increase as younger individuals consume news.  Newspapers, however, will still have a very large place in our society and therefore they need to make money from their online business ventures.  Obviously creating pay walls and moving into the paid subscription mode seems to be the apparent answer. But is it?

There are two main points here:

1)     consumers have been consuming free content on the Internet for over a decade now

and

2)     consumers have never paid for the real cost of newspapers – advertisers have

The main question is will consumers be happy to pay for content online?  The bigger question, however, is not whether consumers will pay for content but what is the business model for creators of content, producers and those who deliver it on the Internet?  The old business model no longer works and finding a replacement has to date been challenging.  But traditional media needs to find a way to survive.

Because there is a diverse and wide range of content online, simply having just a subscription model may not work.  Part of the new model probably requires finding a mix of revenue models not just one and weighing up the costs of losing readers.

Some creativity and thinking outside the box is needed as there is a huge opportunity to create online outlets outside of newspaper channels that are viable and respected, which produce quality content that the public wants to read.  It is only a matter of time until this happens!

Thanks for reading!

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About the Author

Anna Cairo
Anna Cairo is the founder and Director of Anna Cairo Consulting, a boutique communications consultancy with its core focus on the disruptive social media and communication space. She has a passion for educating businesses, executives and leaders about the fragmentation of communication and its impacts on business as well as social media its risks and opportunities in the workplace.

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